Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Guess how much a CEO at PBS makes

Published in American Thinker 29 November 2016

One of the reasons progressives are in panic mode is because many of their favorite programs are in jeopardy.  These programs consume hundreds of billions of dollars.  Their numbers increase with time, and efforts to eliminate them have been unsuccessful.  With Republican control of both houses of Congress and a businessman as chief executive, this seemingly impossible task is within reach.
National Public Radio (NPR) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) are not-for-profit organizations.  What could be better than that?  They belong to the public, and they are nonprofit.  They are high-priority government programs.  During the 2013 government "shutdown," NPR was provided with $445 million while funds for clinical cancer trials under the National Institutes of Health were cut.  This was the shutdown where reporter Dana Bash asked Senator Harry Reid, "If you can help one child, why won't you do it?"  Reid responded, "Why, why, why would we want to do that?"  Reid criticized Bash: "To have someone of your intelligence suggest such a thing maybe means you're as irresponsible and reckless."
Reid is a powerful patron of the arts.  He called H.R. 1, a bill to eliminate the National Endowment of the Humanities, National Endowment of the Arts, a "mean-spirited bill."  He gave these organizations credit for the cowboy poetry festival held every January in northern Nevada.  He claimed, "Had that program not been around, the tens of thousands of people who come there every year would not exist."
A premier PBS station is WGBH, which produces more than two thirds of the nationally distributed programs broadcast by PBS.  Several years ago, the Boston Herald published an article about executives' pay at the station.  The Herald claimed that the "executives were raking in upwards of $200,000 a year while toiling in the lap of a luxurious $85 million multimedia palace dubbed the 'Taj Mahal.'"  Their headquarters contained a 200-seat amphitheater, a state-of-the-art recording studio, a Hamburg-Steinway grand piano, environmentally friendly dual-flush toilets, and waterless urinals.  The Herald reported that WGBH's CEO, Jonathan Abbott, received $425,000 a year.
Abbott defended the salaries, saying WGBH has to compete for talent with the country's leading media companies.  He is perfectly correct.  There is a market for talent.  WGBH has to pay a competitive rate in order to attract the talent it needs.  Without talent, it will lose viewers.  If a private company loses business, it improves its product or goes under.  Government-subsidized companies still must perform; however, the incentive is not as urgent as it would be in a private company.  And why should people who cling to their Bibles and guns subsidize a corporation that does not have a very high opinion of them?
NPR is sensitive about criticism of people's religious beliefs.  Juan Williams was fired by NPR for admitting he gets nervous on a plane when he sees a person dressed in Muslim garb.  Somehow they overlooked Andrei Codrescu's statement on his program All Things Considered: "The evaporation of four million [people] who believe in this [Christian] crap would leave this world a better place."  This was also the view of NPR's former senior vice president for fundraising, Ron Schiller.  He told a couple of undercover journalists that "NPR would be better off in the long run without federal funding."  Shortly after that interview, he left NPR under a cloud for claiming that "Tea Party people" aren't "just Islamaphobic, but really xenophobic – I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting.  I mean, it's scary.  They're seriously racist, racist people."
The article claimed that the station's "freewheeling spending" put it in the crosshairs of congressional Republicans.  Government funding relies to a large extent on Democratic support.  Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) told the Herald, "We know that they can survive on their own.  It's time to push Big Bird out of the nest and let him fly on his own."
NPR reportedly gets only about 10% of its budget from the federal government.  However, if the network's people are informed that the government is going to defund them, you will hear a sound similar to what you will hear if you throw a box of day-old donuts into a pen of piglets.
It is a glorious sound.  Better than the smell of napalm in the morning.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/11/guess_how_much_a_ceo_at_pbs_makes.html#ixzz4RQWrxUFn
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Saturday, November 26, 2016

The War on “Fake News”

In response to the recent election fiasco progressives are increasing their efforts to control the internet.  They are targeting “fake news.”  Obviously no one is in favor of “fake news.”  This should be a clear winning strategy.  Progressives can portray themselves as the defenders of democracy and free speech.  At the same time they will be able to eliminate some troublesome competitors who might question their own reliability.

The forces arrayed against the powers of falsehood are formidable.  They include heads of state, internet providers, major news organizations, and a myriad of private groups.  President Obama proclaimed, “There has to be, I think, some sort of way in which we can sort through information that passes some basic truthiness tests and those that we have to discard because they just don’t have any basis in anything that’s actually happening in the world.”  This is a curious statement since truthiness is defined as the quality of seeming to be true according to one's intuition, opinion, or perception without regard to logic, factual evidence, or the like.”  Angela Merkel told the German Bundestag, “Opinions aren't formed the way they were 25 years ago.  We must confront this phenomenon and if necessary, regulate it."

Internet providers have joined the effort.  Facebook says it will no longer place Facebook-powered ads on “fake news” websites.  Google said it would stop letting fake news sites use its ad placement network.  Google has created an entity composed of mainstream news outlets.  It is called the First Draft Coalition and presents itself as a kind of Ministry of Truth.  It will decide which stories are true and which are “fake.”  The New York Times is in the vanguard of this movement.  It has criticized Facebook and Google for making it possible for fake news to be shared by millions.  The Times pointed to the negative outcome of fake news pointing to the ethnic violence in Myanmar that a “fake news” report contributed to.

The criticism of “fake news” on the internet makes no mention of “fake news” in the main stream media.  The extensive bias in the media is one of the reasons for the attack on the internet.  It would require several volumes to list all the examples of “fake news” disseminated by the main stream media.  A recent example is the New York Times’ criticism of Senator Ben Sasse.  The Times reported that Sasse, “tweeted about people who have been paid to riot against Mr. Trump — an idea propagated by fake news stories.”  In the Washington Post Paul Horner remarked Trump’s, “supporters were under the belief that people were getting paid to protest at their rallies, and that’s just insane.”  Perhaps the Washington Post and New York Times were unaware that two top Democratic strategists were on video discussing voter fraud and planting paid agitators at campaign events for Donald Trump.

There are countless examples of “fake news” reports.  Some of them were relatively harmless like the stories of Janet Cooke and Jayson Blair.  Other example were more significant.  Dan Rather’s 2004 report on George Bush’s military service was designed to effect a presidential election.  Michael Isikoff’s 2005 article in Newsweek about the US military putting a Koran in the toilet possibly led to 17 deaths during riots in Afghanistan.  The Times incorrectly reported, “ tracing the firing location of a Syrian sarin-laden rocket in 2013 back to a Syrian military base.”  In 2003 CNN head Eason Jordan admitted in a New York Times op-ed piece titled “The News We Kept to Ourselves” that he deliberately whitewashed Saddam Hussein’s atrocities. 

Some of these “fake news” stories have had a significant impact on world history.  In 1933 Purlitzer Prize winning New York Times correspondent Walter Durante’s downplaying of the Ukrainian famine facilitated President Roosevelt’s recognition of the Soviet Union.  More famous is William Randolph Hearst’s comment to artist Frederic Remington who he had sent to Cuba, “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war,” shortly before the Spanish American War. 

Who has monitored the dissemination of information in the past?  In a free society it should be regulated by the market.  When people feel they are not being served they seek alternate sources.  A large number of consumers believe that the major media are not serving them adequately.  They are seeking information elsewhere.  Progressives would like to prevent this.  If they want to be successful they should do this patiently without fanfare.  Instead they are using people like ex-Stasi agent Anetta Kahane

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Leftist Tolerance

The election of Donald Trump has given the left a great opportunity to demonstrate its tolerance.  Rather than list the threats individually it is simpler to link to the New York Post article, “Assassination threats against Trump flood Twitter.”  The Post claims, “The shock and anger over Donald Trump’s ascension to the White House has triggered a flood of calls on Twitter and other social media outlets for the president-elect to be assassinated.”  Robert De Niro has threatened to punch Trump in the face.  There are several videos of Trump supporters being savagely beaten.  During the campaign Democrats were secretly

interviewed boasting of how they have instigated violence at Trump rallies.
There have been nightly anti-Trump riots were police have been injured.

Lesley Stahl was recalled from her crypt to interview the president elect. She appeared to be holding him responsible for the anti-Trump riots.  Stahl seemed to think he could tell the rioters to stop and they would miraculously stop.  Stahl then asked about the Trump supporters, “They’re harassing Latinos, Muslims - - ”   Trump responded, “I am so saddened to hear that. And I say, ‘Stop it.’ If it-- if it helps. I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it.”  He failed to point out that many of these attacks have proven to be hoaxes.  Physical attacks on an opponent’s supporters are counterproductive (if they are covered by the media.)  That is why there are so many hoaxes.  Remember “Love Trumps Hate.”

Trump did point out the double standard in media reporting.  Had he lost the election his supporters would not be rioting and attacking the police.  If Joe Biden were hung in effigy during the last election it would have been front page news.  Signs reading “Rape Michelle” would not have been tolerated.  Among the left are many followers of Sergei Nechaev who advocated, “but one thought, one purpose - merciless destruction.”

Sarah Palin Effegy

Friday, November 11, 2016

White Privilege

Samantha Bee: White People Have Ruined America Turner Broadcasting System
The Morning After | Full Frontal with Samantha Bee | by PAM KEY11 Nov 2016

            Wednesday on TBS’s “Full Frontal,” while discussing President-elect Donald Trump’s victory in her monologue, host Samantha Bee said it was “pretty clear” who ruined America: white people.  Bee said, “In the coming days, people will be looking for someone to blame: the pollsters, the strident feminists, the Democratic party, a vengeful god. But once you dust for fingerprints, it’s pretty clear who ruined America: white people. I guess ruining Brooklyn was just a dry run. The Caucasian nation showed up in droves to vote for Trump, so I don’t want to hear a goddamn word about black voter turnout. How many times do we expect black people to build our country for us? White people, this is the worst thing we’ve ever — no, I’m sorry, that’s a very high bar. But holy shit, and don’t try to distance yourself from the bad apples and say, ‘It’s not my fault, I didn’t vote for him, hashtag not all white people.’ Shush. If Muslims have to take responsibility for every member of their community, so do we.”

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A High Level of Corruption

Part of the orientation of any intelligence officer is a warning about being sexually compromised.  This should be a matter of common sense.  However, due to the youth or inexperience of the target the perpetrators may be successful.  It is a technique that has been used for centuries.  In the 1940s Congressman Martin Dies called it the “badger game.”  Defector Walter Kravchenko referred to its practitioners as “Liubyanka ladies.”  Entice an indiviual into a sexually compromising situation and photograph it. 

This presidential campaign appears at times to be a race to the gutter.  Both Donald Trump and Bill Clinton have been accused of having sexual relations with minors.  These allegations of sexual impropriety have raised some disturbing questions about the level of corruption in our society.  Perhaps more serious than the possible sexual perversion is the undermining or our judicial system.  The case of Jeffrey Epstein, billionaire financier and convicted pedophile, illustrates this point.

In 2003 reporter Vicky Ward wrote an article for Vanity Fair about the financier.  Epstein became newsworthy after he flew Bill Clinton to Africa on his private jet, the 'Lolita Express,' for a charity event. Ward included allegations that Epstein may have engaged in illicit sexual activity with a 16 year old.  Her editor at Vanity Fair decided to delete this from the published article after a call from Epstein.  Her article dealt mainly on the hidden source of Epstein’s wealth and his unorthodox lifestyle.

In 2006 Epstein was arrested by the Palm Beach, Florida police.  He faced dozens of counts of paying for sex with underage girls.  Federal charges included trafficking them across state lines.  The probable cause affidavit asserted that Epstein had sexual intercourse with four minors in violation of the Florida State Statute 794.05(1).  Federal prosecutors identified 40 women who may have been procured by Epstein.  In 2008 he pled guilty to a single state charge of soliciting prostitution. He was sentenced to 18 months confinement.  He served less than 13 months and was also granted immunity from prosecution on a series of other underage sex charges.  The police involved in the investigation were shocked.

Epstein’s lenient sentence was purportedly the result Department of Justice intervention.  Of course his team of experts lawyers played an important part.  The team included Alan Dershowitz, Ken Starr, Martin Weinberg, Roy Black, and Jay Lefkowitz.  Dershowitz stated that Ken Starr played a crucial role in the case and claimed he was,proud of the role I played in getting Jeffrey Epstein the deal.”  Still, Epstein was unhappy with the verdict.  Epstein’s attorneys have been fighting to keep the negotiations around the plea deal hidden from the public.  Four women are suing the US prosecutors for violating their rights by concluding a plea deal without consulting them. 

In 2011 Epstein paid “millions of dollars in civil settlements to seven girls who allege that he paid them to perform erotic massages and demeaning sexual acts when they were underage.”  They were among 40 victims identified by the FBI.  A court exhibit claims Epstein sexually assaulted a 13 and 14 year old.  His 2011 settlement brings into question Katie Johnson’s claim that she was raped by Donald Trump in 1994.  Where was she when Epstein was handing out millions.  In 2015 Prince Andrew became involved in a “‘sex slave’ case” against Epstein. 

Jeffrey Epstein is a shrewd businessman.  He would not let an opportunity slip through his fingers.  The 2008 Florida lawsuit clearly mentioned the fact that his properties were filled with hidden cameras.  This raises the question: What would be the value of a library composed of home videos revealing prominent politicians and media people engaged in sexual acts with young children?

A frequent guest of Epstein, Alan Dershowitz, denied that he had sex with minors and claimed,  “I was never in the presence of a single underage woman.  I never saw [Epstein] doing anything improper. I was not a witness. I was not a participant. And I will prove it.”  Dershowitz publicly said his wife accompanies him nearly everywhere he goes.  Yet there are numerous flight logs where she is not included.  He insisted that his relationship with Epstein was entirely academic.

Some of Epstein’s guests include Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Alan Dershowitz, Donald Trump, Katie Couric, George Stephanopoulos, Woody Allen, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Charlie Rose, Kevin Spacey, Mort Zuckerman, and former Senator George Mitchell.  A complete list of his guests would be very interesting.  It would also be interesting to know how many more Jeffrey Epsteins are out there?

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Tears of Wolf Blitzer

Jeopardy contestant and media guru Wolf Blitzer recently interviewed Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump’s senior advisor.  Blitzer asked Conway if she was comfortable with Trump calling the news media “lowlifes” and “all sorts of other ugly words.”  She responded that she avoids personal insults herself and then went on to catalogue a bevy of media misdeeds.  She described the media as advocates rather than journalists and “many journalists have admitted that Donald Trump compels them to suspend objective standards of journalism.”
Media bias is pervasive.  Even the Mediamatters headline reveals its biased point of view: “CNN's Wolf Blitzer Presses Trump Campaign Manager To Stop Attacks Against Journalists And Free Press.”   Donald Trump is not attacking the free press.  He is attacking journalists who are admittedly biased.  His audience agrees with him and respond accordingly.

Wolf Blitzed is worried.  He complained, “The working journalists, the embeds who are traveling with him all the time, they go to all these rallies, they're in this pen, he points to them, he sort of eggs the crowd on to go after them, and there are a lot of young journalists, they're scared sometimes.”  Before Conway was able to respond Blitzer begged, "Could you talk to him and say to him, 'Mr. Trump, we only have a few days left. These are hardworking young journalists. They deserve some security.'  if you will.  Because, some of those Trump supporters out there, they get pretty nasty at what they're screaming at these young people."  A Business Insider article states that Conway, “attempted to partially shift the blame to journalists themselves.”

Conway’s defense of Trump was at times weak.  She stated, "I know them all, I respect them all,” when responding to comments about the journalists.   She claimed, “I think the responsibility has to go both ways."  Not all of these “journalists” deserve respect.  Some do.  The majority are as Trump says lowlifes.  They are propagandists who are actively distorting the truth.  Trump’s comments are in response to their intentional distortions.  Not all journalists intentionally distort the news.  Some sincerely believe what they are reporting.  Wolf Blitzer may be excused.  Considering his performance on Jeopardy he may actually believe what he is reporting.

Blitzed complained, “some of those Trump supporters out there, they get pretty nasty at what they're screaming at these young people.”  The media is having the vapors.  The Denver Post has a reporter who has, “been beaten, shot at, even chased by a gang with machetes.”  He’s “had weapons pressed to my forehead, helicopter gunships searching for me, mortar shells falling around me, and journalist friends killed right next to me.”  He may even have been under sniper fire with Hillary Clinton and Brian Williams in Bosnia.  This violence was nothing compared to a Trump rally.  He says we should be scared too, “If not for the journalists who cover Trump, then for yourself, because if you treasure freedom of the press, you need to realize, he’s putting it in jeopardy.”  The New York Times chimed in with an article, “Partisan Crowds at Trump Rallies Menace and Frighten News Media.”

In support of their argument Salon reported on “a number of high-profile incidents in which journalists covering Trump’s campaign,” experienced hostility from the crowd.  CNN’s Jim Acosta reported being hit by a woman with a sign.  He did not appear in great distress and had neglected to bandage his head.  There was no sign of blood.  CNN’s Sara Murray supposedly had her car keyed.  NBC’s Katy Tur was singled out by Trump and had the audience turned against her.  Oh my.  The media story is that Trump’s supporters are extremely violent and a threat to the First Amendment.  Do any of these media cretins actually believe this? 

The reality is that the overwhelming amount of violence in this campaign is committed by the anti-Trump forces.  The Democratic Party has paid agitators to provoke violence at Trump rallies. This has been revealed in video tapes produced by James O’Keefe.  Members of the media make campaign contributions overwhelmingly to the Clinton campaign.  Their Twitter accounts reveal a similar bias.  Donna Brazile was provided debate questions by her friends in the media which she forwarded to Hillary Clinton.